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Acreichthys tomentosus

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Acreichthys tomentosus
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Tetraodontiformes
Family: Monacanthidae
Genus: Acreichthys
A. tomentosus
Binomial name
Acreichthys tomentosus

Acreichthys tomentosus, commonly known as the bristle-tail filefish or Aiptasia-eating filefish, is a species of demersal marine fish which belongs to the family Monacanthidae and is widespread throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-west Pacific. It is a small fish that can reach a maximum size of 12 cm (4.7 in) length and has the ability to rapidly change color and skin texture and patterns as to avoid detection and consequently predation.[2] It is oviparous.[3][1]


On average, it ranges from 3.8 to 8.9 cm (1.5 to 3.5 in) in length. It has 27-30 anal spines and 26-29 anal soft rays.[3]

Distribution and Ecology[edit]

It is found in the waters around Sri Lanka, Ishigaki island, the Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea, Queensland, New Caledonia, and Tonga. It inhabits shallow coral reefs, preferring sections of the reef which contain seagrass. It prefers temperatures of 27.6–29 °C (81.7–84.2 °F), a dissolved oxygen concentration of 4.51-4.59 mL/L (4510-4590 ppm), and a depth of 2–15 m (6.6–49.2 ft).[3][1]


It feeds on amphipods, polychaetes, and molluscs.[1]

Human Interaction[edit]

It is commonly kept in aquaria as a member of the clean-up crew for its willingness to eat Aiptasia anemones, a common aquarium pest.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Matsuura, K. & Motomura, H. (2017) [errata version of 2016 assessment]. "Acreichthys tomentosus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T69921254A115473596. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T69921254A70010065.en. Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  2. ^ Gumanao G.S., A.R. Bos & J.E. Randall (2018). "Seagrass Filefish, Acreichthys tomentosus (Linnaeus), a master of camouflage". Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation. 30: 58–72.
  3. ^ a b c "Acreichthys tomentosus" at the Encyclopedia of Life
  4. ^ Ulrich III, Albert B. "Caring For The Aiptasia Eating Filefish". Saltwaterfish.com. Retrieved 26 September 2023.

External links[edit]